Category Archives: Toys

Toy Biz Electro-Spark Captain America Action Figure Review

I love 90’s toys. I know, they suck. Well, at least by today’s standards. But, see, these are the toys I grew up with and there’s something to be said for nostalgia. Nostalgia makes everything seem better, even when it’s something that really makes no sense at all. Like Electro-Spark Captain America.

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Ok, to be fair, this figure is technically “Captain America with Sparking Shield and Transforming Hover Jet”, and part of the “Spider-Man: Electro-Spark” line, but one can understand the leap to “Electro-Spark Cap”. But before I start to talk about the figure, I need to jump into the packaging, because, well, just look at that Spidey pic and tell me you don’t want to know more!

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OK, so the back of the package sets us up for why these toys have an electricity theme- the only way to stop electricity is with DIFFERENT electricity. I guess. According to the package Spidey and Cap are the only two heroes capable of defeating Electro, and to do it they need to juice themselves up with zapping abilities.  I would think that if electricity beats electricity (which it doesn’t…unless we’re talking surges and overloads), why didn’t Spidey just go ask Iron Man for help? But whatever, I get another Cap figure out of the deal.

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To take down Electro, of course, Spidey needs at least THREE electricity-themed outfits, including Electro-Spark, which includes a robot spider, Electro-Shock, which has some sorta mech suit, and lastly a Steel-Shock armor- because nothing beats electricity better than draping yourself in highly-conductive metal. I guess the gimmick wouldn’t work well if we got “Rubber Gloves Spidey”, which is a shame, really. We missed out on years of “Proctology Exam Spider-Man” jokes.

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Another info bubble on the box tells us that Cap’s electricity powers actually come from Electro himself; Cap’s shield has absorbed enough power from the villain’s menacing attacks to actually retain the charge. Why isn’t this a video game? I feel like there was a missed opportunity here with Cap running around with his Megaman style shield absorbing enemy powers along the way.

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The jet sled thing we see here doesn’t get an explanation on the packaging, so I suppose we are to just assume it’s the means of transport that Cap took to go help Spidey. Or maybe it’s a space coffin a la “Wrath of Khan”. Let your imaginations run wild, kids!

Once you get past the plethora of bright colors and visual distractions on the package (IF you can) we get what is essentially a definitive 90’s Cap figure.

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His face is sculpted in a mid-battle grimace and there isn’t much definition to speak of- if it wasn’t for the paint I’m not sure I’d know where Steve’s face ended and his mask began- but all things considered it’s a damn good Cap figure. Just look at the detail sculpting on the chest to capture the scale-mail armor, something still missing in most Cap figures today. It would have been easy to recycle piece from other figures for this guy, but I’m glad to see Toy Biz go all out for him.

Now the accessories are where things get a bit iffy. Everyone knows Steve Rogers is never without his mighty shield, but this time out it looks like Cap decided to bring a shield-shaped gun to the party. Ok, so the package states that the shield absorbed some electrical charge, which is why when you pull the cord on the back of it, it sparks up. It doesn’t mention, however, why the shield shrunk down, or how it got glued to a chunk of plastic. I know it needs to house the electro-spark gimmick, but it just looks odd being so small and really wouldn’t offer much in the way of protection. Plus the way Steve holds it make it look like it should swirl and create some sorta hypno-ray, but it doesn’t and that makes me sad.

Now if you take a look at the blistercard, you can see Cap holding a size-appropriate shield. It looks like it would be a better fit, but since we didn’t get it I guess we’ll never know. If only we had that one to see what this guy would have looked like…

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Hey, Marvel Legends Cap! Thanks for helping out!

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Giving this Cap a more accurate shield goes a long way to make him look AMAZING! The color doesn’t quite match up with the most recent Legends shield- the 90’s Cap has much brighter colors- but the size looks so much better that it almost doesn’t matter. If I can find a good color match in this size, I will definitely display this guy holding it. I just wouldn’t know what to do with the electro-shield the figure came with.IMG_1846

The second accessory Cap comes with is the Hover Jet that can double as a rocket pack.

It’s cool looking enough, but the wings and handles are barely attached and tend to pop off without much prompting, leading me to wonder how any kid was supposed to play with it. If you can manage to get Cap to balance on it without pieces falling everywhere (which took me some effort) it still is a bit funky. The way his arms are positioned he can’t really hold on to the handlebars, and the feet just slide into the goblin-glider foot cups, so there’s no way to keep the passenger in place. I have a feeling that it found its way to many a toy box’s bottom layer.

It also serves another function, though. Well, two more if you count what the package says. First is the jetpack, which works much better than the sled mode does.

It sorta just rests on Cap’s shoulders and hangs there, but the fit is snug and doesn’t come loose as easily as the other mode does. The leg parts have clips to connect the figure’s legs into, but since Cap is sporting his fashionable cavalier boots, and the clips aren’t wide enough, they don’t serve much purpose.  Funny thing is fits a little better when put onto a modern Hasbro Legends figure, despite being made for the smaller guys.

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Now according to the packaging the jet also has a “lab table” mode where you fold the wings back and can lay Steve out for some unsavory experiments. Fortunately (or unfortunately, I don’t know what everyone is into) there are little plastic tabs that keep you from being able to do that. I even tried swapping the wings to opposite sides to see if that would work, but nope. Looks like Cap escapes experimentation due to poor construction.

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Toys from the 90’s are a joy to play with, and Electro-Spark Cap here is no different. We’ve come a long way since the days of 9 points of articulation and “less-than” sculpting, but it’s always good to look back to where you came from, and even for a toy made before the golden age of action figure collecting, this is a dynamite Cap toy. Well, not counting the accessories, of course.

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Funko Marvel Collector Corps Civil War Box

Today seems to be a Funko sorta day for me. I stopped by a local Gamestop and ended up getting a few Captain America: Civil War Dorbz and when I got home I found my Funko Collector Corps box sitting on my porch!

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Now I’ve never gotten a CC box before- I’m not a Funko collector- but I just couldn’t pass on getting an entire box of goodies with a Cap theme.

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First off let’s talk about this box, because the brown cardboard shipping container is, itself, a beautiful collectible. The art on the front is great, featuring a close-up of Cap and Iron Man, but once you open it you are greeted by an onslaught of gorgeous Civil War line art. Different characters are depicted as well as some fight scenes drawn towards the bottom. Really great start to this subscription box.

The first thing you see inside are a pin and a patch- something that I understand comes with every box. The pin this time out is Black Panther and is a really nice looking piece of 1.5″ metal. The patch is slightly larger at around 3″ and displays one of my all time favorite baddies, Crossbones. As you would imagine, both of the designs used are based off of the movie appearances and look stunning.

Lifting the next flap/panel will reveal the rest of the swag- an info card, a comic, a t-shirt, a lanyard, and both a POP! Vinyl and a Dorbz!

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The info card is neat and I don’t know if this is the sort of thing that they include with every box, but I love the tid-bits of trivia on it.

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POP-style Cap and Panther are throwing down on this variant cover for Black Panther #1, which is our comic book. While it makes more sense (being T’Challa’s book) I think I preferred the cover with Iron Man teased on the info card.

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The t-shirt is AMAZING! I will most likely be wearing this when I go to see Civil War on opening night! I love the entire composition of the art. Team Iron Man in red vs. Team Cap in blue- just a really solid design! (Also always good to see Agent 13 included in things!)

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The lanyard is cool and has two alternating patterns of POP Cap and POP Iron Man each in their respective colors with the movie logo in there as well. Like the info card says- this is a cool place for you to store all the CC pins you’ve collected throughout the first year of subscription.

Now onto the reason we all came here- THE TOYS!!!

The Dorbz figure included is an unmasked Iron Man that, if I remember correctly, was initially going to be offered alongside an unmasked Cap as a Free Comic Book Day promo. I’m assuming things changed somewhere along the lines and we instead get happy little Tony this way. He’s a really cool little toy, and I love the look of Dorbz in general, so he’s definitely a welcomed addition to the shelf. I would have preferred Steve instead of Tony, but that’s mainly because I’m #teamcap for life.

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The last (and possibly best) piece from this box is the Captain America/ Iron Man POP! Vinyl 2 pack. Unlike the one offered at FYE stores, this 2 pack has two brand new POPs- action pose Cap and action pose Iron Man! They look great in the package and have so much life to them that I’m starting to wish I had more action pose POPs.

I wouldn’t have minded a little Battle-damaged look painted on to these two, but that’s just me nitpicking. These are great just as is.

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I’m really glad I decided to pick this box up. It’s my first experience with the Marvel Collector Corps from Funko and I definitely believe I started with the right one. Kudos to the folks at Funko for making such a fun set!

 

Build-A-Bear Workshop Captain America Teddy Bears

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Yet another odd piece of Captain America merchandise, Build-a-Bear Workshops across the universe are now offering an entire line of Marvel Comics characters in teddy bear form. Of course I had to go out and grab Cap and Falcon.

There are two different sizes- a “Mega Minis” line which stand (er, sit) around 8″ high and a larger 17″ bear with a sound chip in it. When you squeeze his hand (paw?) he says one of five phrases:

  • “I’m Captain America!”
  • “Reporting for duty!”
  • “Yaaaaah!”
  • “I’m proud to serve at your side!”
  • “Avengers Assemble!”

The big guy was too big to fit in the spot I normally take my photos, so he is currently taking up residence in my chair. Lucky Captain “Roar-gers”.

I’ve actually wanted a Cap teddy bear for a while to add to the collection (something I’ve thought about before for reasons not even I understand) so I was excited to have the opportunity to get not just one, but two Caps AND a Falcon! If you jump over to Build-A-Bear‘s website you can see the full line up of Mega Minis here and a quick search will reveal the larger Captain America and Iron Man which is available both with and without the sound chip.

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Hot Wheels Captain America Series

The slew of new Captain America merchandise seems to know no bounds! Hot Wheels is even getting in on the action with this series of 8 vehicles all designed with the Star-Spangled Avenger in mind.

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The series includes four cars dedicated to Cap himself, two for Bucky (WW2 and Winter Soldier), one for the Avengers and one for the sinister Red Skull.

Now I’m no expert, but I’m roughly 100% positive some of these aren’t real cars.

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I really like the 40’s Cap car and the Avengers car and the rest, while not winning any Stranger Awards (I should make that a thing) are still pretty cool. I would have liked some classic Cap stuff- maybe the Turbo Coupe? Or the Skull’s badass ride from The First Avenger?

If I understand correctly, these guys are all Walmart exclusives, but I can’t confirm that- a friend got them for me so I don’t know for sure. Regardless, these 8 autos are my only Hot Wheels toys, so I need to figure out how to display them- any thoughts?

Captain America: Civil War Minimates Captain America and Winter Soldier 2-pack Quick Pic Gallery

 

I was roaming the aisles at Toys R Us today when I stumbled across the new Captain America: Civil War Minimates made by Diamond Select Toys. I picked up Cap/Bucky and Hawkeye/Vision (the latter is a TRU Exclusive) and really just could not wait to add a new Cap to the shelf. I’ll try to do a more in-depth review in the future, but for now enjoy the pics of Captain America and The Winter Soldier!

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And about that shelf…

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That’s our new boy in the back.

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Toy Biz Captain America Turbo Coupe

I love looking at toys from the 90s. I know the sculpts were crude and the paint apps were almost non-existent, but something about Fire-Armor Batman carrying a golden bazooka just makes me smirk. While today’s toys are way more high-end in sculpts, articulation, attention to detail, and, well, pretty much everything, there really is something to be said for the gimmicky nonsense that was being pumped out in the early 90s.

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Take, for example, Toy Biz Toys’ 1990 release of the Captain America Turbo Coupe- part of the Marvel Super Heroes line. Now as far back as I can remember, Cap has always elected to take to the streets on some sort of motorcycle, but even today toy companies prefer to put the Star-Spangled Avenger behind the wheel of something on four wheels. I don’t really know why.

So, much like Batman, Captain America got a sweet lil’ ride in his Turbo Coupe, or, as I will refer to it for the remainder of this review, the CapCoupe.

The CapCoupe measures in around 12″ long and is decked out mainly in white with some blue and red paint apps around to complete the ‘murica! look. Most of the details are painted on, like the solid black windshield and the stripes along the side, but the car also features some stickers with the Captain America logo. It looks suitably “CapCoupe” even without the logo on it, but I guess Toy Biz wanted to make sure you didn’t confuse it with the rarely-seen presidential muscle car Reagan used to tear through town in.

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Now one thing that bugs me about the construction of the CapCoupe is that while the toy is made to put a figure inside (only one will fit. Sorry, Bucky) the design, with its full roof and painted windows, doesn’t really let you SEE Cap in the driver’s seat. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to see that I have a toy in the car. I guess since the CapCoupe doesn’t come with a figure it made it easier for kids to pretend they had someone driving to the rescue, on the off chance they got the car but had no Cap to go with it, but it irks me.

The front of the car is adorned with Cap’s trusty shield, or some battering ram version of. The colors are a bit off, and I’m not really sure if there was any real reason to change it other than someone in at Toy Biz didn’t want to get up from his desk to grab the control art.

When it’s in a “resting” position, the shield looks like a giant hood ornament-  but criminals beware! With one push of the red button on the hood, the shield launches out and knocks the villains into next Tuesday! Oh yeah, I loves me some cheesy gimmicks!

Back in the 90’s, though, it wasn’t enough to just put Cap in the seat of a fancy car with a face-smasher on the front . Oh no, a patriotic Batmobile just wouldn’t do. Let’s say Cap gets to a crime scene, but the bad guys are no where to be found. Oh, they are clever, these generic fiends- they know Cap would show up in his CapCoupe, so they take to the rooftops for their well-planned escape. Ha! There’s no way the stalwart hero will be able to follow them!

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Well think again, you devilish crumbums! With the roof opened up, all Steve Rogers needs to do is activate his CapCoupe’s hidden weapon- a jet sled thing! Yep, just lift the spoiler from the back of the car and the guts of the vehicle come with it!

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The “Glider Wing”, as the box calls it, is essentially the seat and spoiler of the CapCoupe with some jet engines on the sides and retractable landing gear. I don’t understand why a glider needs engines, or how something that can lift off from a dead-stop on the ground can be called a glider, but hey, it’s freakin’ neat!

Some sort of propeller on the top would have been cool, and it would help me understand how the physics of this work, but as it is, the Glider Wing is a fun little “surprise” inside the cereal box that is the CapCoupe. It is cast in the same white plastic the rest of the vehicle is in and features a star symbol on each side.

Sadly, the CapCoupe will never be as recognizable as the Batmobile, or even as sought after as the X-Men’s Blackbird, but as a 10 year old Cap fan, this toy was well worth my parent’s hard-earned money. And as an adult, it’s worth every inch of shelf space it takes up.

Hasbro Marvel Legends Red Skull Series CAPTAIN AMERICA Figure

Hasbro has, in recent years, really stepped their game up when it comes to their Marvel Legends line, so even though we’ve already gotten several different versions of Captain America it was only a matter of time before they doubled back to him for an update.

Here we have that very figure- a new take on the classic Cap look. While many people tend to cringe whenever a new version of Cap, Iron Man, or Wolverine gets released instead of a new character, I always just cross my fingers and hope that this will finally be the “default” Cap for my shelf ,and dethrone the still gorgeous, if not outdated, ML Series 1 Cap made by Toy Biz so many years ago. Well, here’s hoping.

The package is the now-classic Marvel Legends box. There have been some changes since the last wave, specifically adding the “Legends” logo to the top of the box and moving the theme title at the bottom. Seeing as this is Cap, we get a mostly blue package with some new artwork of Captain America himself along the sides. What I love about it is that when you walk into a toy store you instantly see this wave on the pegs since the blue really stands out from the red used on all the other waves.

Inside the package you get the figure, some accessories, and a Build-A-Figure piece for the “Red Onslaught” figure. Since that last piece of plastic really has nothing to do with Cap, I’m just going to gloss over it, but it will certainly come in handy as the back armor for our big-bad.

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Cap is built on the new “Large” body Hasbro first gave us with Grim Reaper. This body is a HUGE improvement over the past Cap figures Hasbro has done as it’s both taller and bulkier than the previously used bucks. I’ve always had an issue with Hasbro’s Caps due to the lack of size, but this version finally gives us something that is more of a presence on a shelf. I mean, he’s finally taller than Spider-Man, and that’s pretty important.

As far as I can see it’s an almost entirely reused buck with some Rogers-esque additions. The cavalier boots look new to me as do the gloves. Cap also sports a belt piece that, again, I think is unique to this figure. The last new piece is the figure’s head, which, differs from the earlier Cap figures because it not only has a sculpted “A”, but also, FINALLY, we get a Captain America figure that has the classic wings on the sides of the head!

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As many people have pointed out, the head on this figure is a little on the larger side, but to be honest, I don’t really mind it once I have it in hand. The face sculpt is really cool and (to me, at least) has a  Rik Levin/Ron Lim vibe to it. Since it’s a classic Cap and they both drew the book in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I really think it works.

Articulation is as good as it has ever been on Hasbro’s Legends run, which to me means it’s even better than what Toy Biz did so well. I’m not going to go through and list all 30 points of articulation, but I will say that there’s enough here to get Steve into damn near any position you’d need him to be in. Take that however you perverts want.

The paint on Cap is good, but not quite great. There isn’t a lot of it to speak of since Hasbro doesn’t do the whole “highlights and shading” thing Toy Biz loved, but I’ve never really minded that. However, like many people, I do wish we had gotten something in the way  of the chainmail paint app similar to what the original Legends figure had, but I don’t think it’s a “make or break” thing, just a personal preference. My big problem comes from small areas around the figure like the spot around the abs. I just think it was an odd choice for Hasbro to bend the white stripes outward at the top of Steve’s six-pack when they could have just gone straight up with it and made it look a lot cleaner. It would have done a lot to hide the articulation, too.

The area around the elbow bugs me as well, but it’s more of a plastic issue than a paint one. Hasbro painted the bicep but the elbow and lower arm are just cast in an almost-white, meaning that the two pieces of plastic don’t quite match up. Under normal house lights you can’t notice it, so I don’t think it’s a major deal, just a tad bothersome.

Aside from those two minor hiccups, the paint on ‘Ol Man Rogers is pretty tight. The white-on-blue is clean and there isn’t much bleeding. The star on the chest is just painted on, and that can lead to some iffy outcomes, but this time around we got sharp lines and a very well-defined emblem.

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In addition to a solid build and good paints, Cap comes with a good deal of extra pieces and accessories. For starters we have Cap’s trusty shield. This time out is looks like a different shield than we’ve gotten with the previous releases. As opposed to the sculpted details in the older shield, this new one is just a smooth surface with painted circles. I actually like it since it is supposed to be a more comic-accurate version and I’ve always pictured it as smooth. I have heard of some people saying they thought it was too small, but it looks like a good fit to me.

Cap has the ability to either clip the shield on his wrist or mount it on his back. Either way looks good, but I’m a “wield your weapon” kind of guy, so that’s how I’ll be displaying him. What’s coo though is that if you do decide to harness the shield, Cap also comes with plastic shoulder straps so it looks like the shield is actually hanging from his back. While the idea was awesome, the execution fell a little short. The individual plastic pieces don’t clip on, so they just hang on his shoulders, meaning that they don’t hold well and I had a difficult time keeping them in place.

Cap also comes with two alternate hands- a pointing hand and a saluting hand. They just pop in and out easily and gives us some more posing options for the figure. I would have liked a fist hand or two, just for the options, but what we got isn’t bad.

The big thing here, and this is monumental, is the fact that we get an alternate head which is unlike any we’ve gotten with a Cap figure before, and to be honest, one I never thought I would see.

CAP-WOLF! Freakin’ Cap-Wolf, man! I mean, c’mon! I realize that there are plenty of readers scratching their heads over this part, so let me clarify…

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The head is great and has a very detailed sculpt. It looks like it jumped right out of the book and onto our toy shelves. The only thing that sucks here is that we only get the alternate head. I would have loved some extra hands and evens feet to complete the look, but I’ll take whatever Cap-Wolf I can get!

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Considering the large buck, the great sculpts and paint apps, and the outstanding accessories, I’m going to go ahead and say it. Wow, I never thought I’d get to. I HAVE A NEW DEFAULT CAPTAIN AMERICA FIGURE! No, it isn’t perfect, but considering everything that came before in the Legends line, this, to me, looks like Captain America more than any other figure. Now if Hasbro could just give me a Falcon and a decent Red Skull.

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